Investigating Local Governments:
A Manual for Reporters

THIS MANUAL attempts to provide journalists with a local governance roadmap that would guide them in their day-to-day coverage of the news. But it is useful to others as well -officials, researchers, activists and ordinary citizens who wish to know more about governance at the local level.

This book begins with a scrutiny of the community press and its unique features and problems. It then dissects how local governments work (or are supposed to work) and includes helpful hints on how journalists can make sense of what is going on at the local level. In a simple but exhaustive discussion on local fiscal administration, one of the chapters shows how reporters and citizens can follow the money trail in their pursuit of wrongdoing. Another chapter focuses on the basic services that have been devolved to local government units, and points out the kinds of leads and sources a reporter can use to explain all these to the average reader.

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism put out this book in recognition of the fact that community journalists have to deal with a difficult terrain that is marked by political pressures, limited resources, intimidation and threats. But there is also a lack of understanding among community journalists of what local governance is all about and how local governments work. It is hoped that this book will help deepen their understanding and encourage them to blaze new trails in reporting.

© 2001, 279 pages, ISBN 971-8686-31-2

The book is available at the PCIJ office. For more information, email or call (+632) 4319204.